By Rimli Bhattacharya
“We were a scandal in Australia. They love scandal there. Mums tugging their kids away from us in the street: ‘Ooh, look – Them!’” – Malcolm Young
Best known as a co-founder of the rock band, AC/DC, and a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Malcolm Young died at sixty four. He lost his battle to dementia, only after fighting this illness for three years.
Born to Scottish parents in Glasgow, he later moved and settled in Sydney, Australia, with his parents and siblings.
He propelled his fabled rock band AC/DC in 1973 with his sibling, Angus. Young was a songwriter, backing vocalist, and rhythm guitarist for AC/DC, which was introduced into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
The band AC/DC moved to the UK in 1976, and began their journey of international tours and recording. Because of his addiction to alcohol, Malcolm missed some of the major tours and concerts. He finally made a comeback as an abstemious person and devoted himself to his band.
AC/DC underwent a roller-coaster journey prior to launching their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. The band-mates remained stable until bassist, Cliff Williams, substituted Mark Evans in 1977. In 1979, their massive victory was Highway to Hell, though the lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on the night of 19 February, 1980, after heavy alcohol consumption. The group thought of quitting, but soon ex-Geordie singer, Brian Johnson, was selected as a substitute to Scott. That same year, the band released their best-selling album, Back in Black.
Since then there was no looking back. The band won the APRA awards for some hits: “Big Gun”, “Highway to Hell”. Also the band won Grammy Award for “War Machine”.
Malcolm once said to Rolling stone: “I’ve never felt like a pop star – this is a nine-to-five sort of gig, […]. It comes from working in the factories, that world. You don’t forget it.”
Guns N’ Roses’ Slash told Rolling Stone, “Malcolm Young was one of the best ever rhythm guitarists in rock n roll. He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock n roll community is heartbroken by his passing”.
To a certain extent, the alcohol addiction did fetch his dementia. Malcolm leaves behind his wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, three grandchildren, a sister, and a brother.
It’s a fact that legends don’t survive long as the struggle takes a toll. Young was also a victim of struggle, alcohol addiction, and dementia. The early years of launching the band, the Strum und Drang, and his addiction to liquor were tough for him. It was a blow to Young that he had to let go of his music at sixty-one. He also couldn’t be a part of latest album, “Rock Or Bust”. Mail Online reported that Young wouldn’t be touring or recording with AC/DC, despite working extensively on its latest studio record. It further said that the band “will embark on a world tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary as a band and promote Rock Or Bust, their 15th studio album, at an undisclosed date. With Young, the band’s songwriter of 40 years, departure, brother Angus Young will be taking on wordsmith duties writing future songs. Due to be released on November 28, Rock Or Bust is and comes six years after the band’s hugely successful album Black Ice.”
Malcolm Young’s life and career prove that the only way to rock is CLASSIC ROCK. Happy resurrection Malcolm Young!
Rimli Bhattacharya completed Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology. She is a trained Indian classical dancer, based out of Mumbai, India. She tweets at: @rimli76
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